Jan 26, 2012

Ukok Plateau | Russia

This postcard [amazing aspect of the lake] was sent by Elena from Russia via postcrossing [RU-420053]. It shows Ukok plateau.

Ukok Plateau is a remote and pristine grasslands area located in the heart of southwestern Siberia, the Altai Mountains region of Russia near the borders with China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The Pazyryk is the name of an ancient people who lived in the Altai Mountains on this plateau who are associated with some spectacular archeological findings, including mummies found frozen in the permafrost. Many ancient Bronze Age tomb mounds have been found in the area and have been associated with the Pazyryk culture which closely resembled that of the legendary Scythian people to the west. The term kurgan is in general usage to describe such log-barrow burials. Excavations of this site have continued to yield fascinating archaeological findings. One famous finding is known as the Ice Maiden, excavated by Russian archaeologist, Natalia Polosmak. Three tattooed mummies (c. 300 BC) were extracted from the permafrost of the Ukok Plateau in the second half of the 20th century.
It is recognized as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai as an important environmental treasure. It provides a habitat for many of the world's endangered species including one of its least studied predatory animals: the snow leopard. Other endangered species protected there include the Argali mountain sheep, the steppe eagle, and the Black Stork. Currently the Ukok Plateau is being threatened by plans for a gas pipeline between China and Russia. It is also being threatened by a proposal to build a road through it as well as overuse of the steppe by ranchers.
The Ice Maiden and other archaeological finds were located just within a disputed strip of land between Russia and China. The residents of the Altai Republic are demanding the return of the burial artifacts from their current location in Novosibirsk. [wikipedia]

Cristo Redentor | Brazil

I received this postcard two weeks ago. It was sent by MarianaReis via postcrossing [BR-151907]. It is pretty weird that it took 267 days to travel from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Athens, Greece!! I'm just happy it finally reached me! :)

Rio de Janeiro (River of January), commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th largest in the Americas, and 26th in the world.
The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1815 during the Portuguese colonial era, 1815 to 1821 as the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves, 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. Rio is nicknamed the Cidade Maravilhosa or "Marvelous City."

Jan 3, 2012

English Royal Family

 Two more postcards sent by my mother from London. They both show the Royal Family, of the House of Windsor.

The House of Windsor is the royal house of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on the 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of his family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom during World War I. Currently, the most prominent member of the House of Windsor is Queen Elizabeth II [for more information about her check out this post], the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms.